Are we forgiving in general?

grahamg

Senior Member
As I worked away trying to put up stock proof fencing on my mates farm on the edge of the peak district in the UK today, I mused about some of the things my then wife objected to, forty years ago.

There was no taking short cuts when going around supermarket aisles, she didn't like being watched when washing up, (or was it me being idle?), didn't like my being late picking her up from the bus station on one occasion, though I was usually punctual, didn't like a Monty Python song about lumberjacks I used to sing, my singing was/is dreadful though, didn't like the books I read, didn't like my godfather pulling her leg, and so on...... all things I hope I forgave fairly well, (but I've remembered them haven't I so maybe not completely forgiven?).

Some people treat me like an idiot, (am I to blame for their thinking they're so smart?), and I try to forgive this too, but who knows, maybe I show less tolerance over time, or depending upon my mood.

Overall I believe I'm fairly tolerant, "turn the other cheek" and all that kinda guy, but just how tolerant do we all have to learn to be these days, (I hate canned music in stores, folks driving too close behind you, folks who are impatient too, so there's a contradiction hey!)? :unsure:.
 

Aunt Marg

Granny Pantie Power!
I try and be as forgiving as I can, but as I have aged my tolerance for nonsense has greatly diminished. I used to give people who irritated me a chance to redeem themselves, but not any more, and as for being outspoken, I wish what I had now, I had 40 plus years ago.

I refuse to walk on egg-shells around anyone, nor do I kowtow to anyone. With that said, I am still as dedicated as ever when it comes to friendships and holding true to my word, and while I have developed a deeper edge about me as I have gotten older, I still enjoy the steadfast mellow side of myself that I have carried with me for much of my life.
 

Ruthanne

SF VIP
Location
Midwest
Although I do try to be understanding and forgiving I don't always forgive automatically...it takes some time. It's a process for me but the more I practice it the easier it seems to get. I do not let people walk all over me, though, and sometimes I choose to just not be a part of some people's lives. Life is short, though, so I strive to be as happy and content as possible if that's possible at the time.
 

Davey Do

Member
Location
Goofy, Illinois
I forgave fairly well, (but I've remembered them haven't I so maybe not completely forgiven?).

Forgiveness is a cyclic, repetitive act.

We make a decision to forgive to relieve a burden from ourselves. And, although we can forgive, we cannot forget. So when those past transgressions cyclically come to mind, we again, repetitively, forgive the other for their past transgression(s).
 

tbeltrans

Senior Member
To me, holding grudges as a rather difficult thing because:

1. We have to remember who we are supposed to be mad at and why
2. In order to succeed at #1, we have to keep the issues in mind, replaying them, which puts in a bad mood to begin with
3. Holding grudges is bad for our health because #2 really does eat away at our well being
4. Related to #3, it is said by some that holding grudges does nothing for the person we are aiming at, but does hurt us

I could probably think of more, but I think these give the picture. Being in a 12 Step program, I have to apologize for my part in whatever happened. My mother always said it takes two to tangle, and she was right. It may be that I said something in such a way that the other person took offense, for example. It doesn't matter if the other person apologizes or not.

What I have found is what the 12 Step programs caution to expect - often, people will perceive such an apology as me taking entire responsibility, letting the other person off the hook, or the apologizing person being considered weak. It is an odd thing, but all too often, true. I have rarely had a person admit his or her part in the thing, instead the amends being one-sided. However, regardless, I have admitted my part and can walk away a free man, while the other person can hold on to a grudge if s/he so chooses.

Then, there are the big things, such as being in a traffic accident in which somebody is killed or maimed for life, or someone close to you is murdered. From what I have read in article/stories in which the person injured by these things decides to forgive, that act is very freeing to the person doing the forgiving, so s/he can get on with his or her life.

Of course, there are all manner of shades in between these two extremes, but we always have a choice as to how we will deal with it. I tend to choose not to hold a grudge, though I agree with the poster who said Aunt Bea. We don't have to trust and put ourselves in jeopardy of being hurt again. Also, I agree with those who say we can forgive, but we don't forget. Though we may not forget, we can free ourselves from reliving the emotions surrounding the situation by forgiving.

Tony
 

Sassycakes

SF VIP
Location
Pennsylvania
If anything I am too forgiving. I wish I was the opposite way. My older brother and his wife were very mean to me but the idiot that I am I forgave them. It never changed anything about the way they treated me.I also forgave a friend for what she said about me to others,but to this day she still lies about me. So now I just avoid any conversations with her. I guess you just have to live and learn.
 

Aunt Marg

Granny Pantie Power!
If anything I am too forgiving. I wish I was the opposite way. My older brother and his wife were very mean to me but the idiot that I am I forgave them. It never changed anything about the way they treated me.I also forgave a friend for what she said about me to others,but to this day she still lies about me. So now I just avoid any conversations with her. I guess you just have to live and learn.
I used to be all too forgiving and accommodating, but over the past couple of years that's all changed, and I must say I am happier now than ever before.

Wish I had what I have now, back when I was young and growing. Boy, would things ever have been different.
 

tbeltrans

Senior Member
Remember that we can forgive, which in actuality is really us taking care of ourselves by freeing us from having to hold a grudge, but at the same time, we can "live and learn", and modify our relationship with the people that hurt us so it won't happen again. As other posters have said, we can forgive, but we don't forget. By forgiving, we can take the sting out of it and by not forgetting we can learn to not get hurt by that person again.

Tony
 

Repondering

Senior Member
Location
Nebraska, USA
It's easier to forgive a person who inflicts suffering when it's clear that person is also suffering.
How forgiving and understanding one is to be however, depends on how saintlike one aspires to be.
I know of someone who suffered terribly and then thoroughly enjoyed, for years, returning that suffering on anyone he could hurt and do it and get away with it. He was utterly unrepentant.
So I avoided him as much as I could when he was still alive, but now that he's dead (the SOB was my father) I still recall, every day, the pleasure he enjoyed in deliberately inflicting suffering.
So now I'm experiencing the bitter aftertaste of holding a grudge, like voluntarily sipping a poison that can only hurt me.
And it's not that I didn't return fire onto him when he was still here......I did, oh yes. But nothing was ever resolved.
And it still isn't resolved.

I intellectually aspire to the forgiveness goal but making it real at a visceral level is still a work in progress and it's probably a work approached in a spiritual way.
 
We must always keep in mind that all of us struggle with things on a daily basis. We have no idea what someone else is dealing with. We can't just assume that because they are this way a few days that this is the way it is all the time. Especially now when our country is such a mess with this Coronavirus. Unless they're hateful all the time, a person needs to learn to be a little more flexible.

We can be flexible and allow that person the time to get themselves straight without being walked all over. People are too quick to judge anymore and many times they cut people off at the first offense without even trying to be understanding or anything. I have low tolerance for people that are that impatient that they can't even try to be understanding. They just cut you off. That's it. They're done with you.
 

jerry old

redneck, but brainy
Okay, good thread, but we also need a thread for those of us that need forgiving, lots of forgiving.

It would probably have few post as we don't like to admit what jerks we were-never mind.
 

grahamg

Senior Member
Okay, good thread, but we also need a thread for those of us that need forgiving, lots of forgiving.

It would probably have few post as we don't like to admit what jerks we were-never mind.
There is a placard or joke going around I believe stating "In order to become wise and responsible, I once had to be reckless and foolish!", (or words to that effect 🧓 ).

I'll let you start the "confessions thread", if you dont mind, but will definitely chip in when you do with as pithy or silly a comment as I can come up with for you. :sneaky:.
 

Gaer

unrepentant sinner
If anything I am too forgiving. I wish I was the opposite way. My older brother and his wife were very mean to me but the idiot that I am I forgave them. It never changed anything about the way they treated me.I also forgave a friend for what she said about me to others,but to this day she still lies about me. So now I just avoid any conversations with her. I guess you just have to live and learn.
Sassycakes:What you wrote was the growth of your beautiful soul. Look at these people as if they were hurt animals. Give them pity and help them, if you can. By forgiving them, your soul is growing at an incredible rate.
 

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